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IBM Sharpens Focus on EMC

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is attacking EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) where it considers the Hopkinton giant most vulnerable: storage virtualization (see IBM Virtualizes EMC).

IBM has upgraded its SAN volume controller (SVC) with support for EMC Clariion midrange systems. Its plan is to get companies with EMC gear to buy Big Blue because SVC now lets them manage all EMC hardware. SVC previously supported EMC high-end Symmetrix systems. It also works with Thunder and Lightning midrange and enterprise systems from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS).

IBM's upgrade is the latest shot fired in the battle among IBM, EMC, and HDS over storage virtualization. And it's aimed squarely at EMC's pet market -- the midrange. EMCs Clariion revenue grew 56 percent year-over-year last quarter, compared to 3 percent Symmetrix growth (see Tucci Touts ILM).

IBM also is reacting to EMC's momentum. According to IDC, EMC grew its overall SAN revenue 23.5 percent in the quarter, compared to 16.4 percent year-over-year growth by IBM.

That's drawn a big fat bullseye on EMC's back. “Our maniacal focus is going after EMC,” says Ron Riffe, IBM’s director of storage software strategy. “We want to break EMC’s proprietary lock on storage. We expect quite an uptick from EMC customers."

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